With over 2 decades of flying ultralights under
my belt I have been able to place a number of clocks made from
propellers on my wall!
While I sit here joking about it NOW, several of
these could have lead to conclusions which someone else would have had
to write about - because I would have had my own customized set of wings
If you are flying an ultralight, trike, or
powered parachute especially in a pusher configuration the following may
you in NOT having to invest in wall clocks!
- Check exhaust springs are safety wired by lock wire
passed loosely through the middle of the center of the coils, and then fill them
spring from one end to the other full of silicone.
- Check your exhaust system for cracks, which
could lead to pieces breaking free and entering the prop, check the
clips that hold the exhaust springs at the attachment welds.
- On the Rotax air cooled engines put a dab of
silicone on the screws holding the two top cooling shrouds in
- Check the two top shrouds for cracks
especially around the exhaust manifold and intake manifolds if you
have aluminium shrouds.
- Ensure nylock nuts or castellated nuts with
cotter pins are used on
- If you have just refueled your plane check to
make sure you have replaced the gas cap, where possible attach a retain strap to the cap.
- If you are flying on a 532/582/618 Rotax
engine use safety wire to secure the rotary valve oil tank cap, and
the oil reservoir tank.
- Inspect pilot compartment before entering the
anything loose or lying around, cleaning rags, hats, scarfs, maps.
- Do not fly wearing sunglasses, or glasses,
- It is also a good idea NOT to fly wearing
scarf, especially while wearing it around your neck!
- Check your recoil handle for proper
retraction back up into the housing. A securing mechanism for the
handle is a wise investment. Also when starting the engine, release
the rope slowly, do not just let it go when the engine starts. If
the recoil handle does not retract properly, and requires you to
pull on it several times before it goes back up in, REPLACE the
recoil spring immediately.
- Secure the airfilters to the carburetor.
- Secure the ends of flaps using velcro
to attach fabric to wing components such as between the two wings.
- Check helmets and visors are securely
fastened - if your visor can fly OFF if you turn your head in the
airstream, take it off before you fly.
- Make sure all pockets are securely zipped or
- Ensure all baggage
is safely stowed, if carrying extra fuel in a tank in the rear seat
remember 5 gallons of fuel weighs nearly 50 lbs! A bungee cord is
not likely to hold that kind of weight especially in turbulence!
Also note that anything that can move in the second seat could
effect the and hinder control system
- Make sure all doors are latched properly and
- Make sure all batton ends are secured, and
not able to move backwards into the prop during flight.
- Check seatbelts shoulder harnesses, intercom
cables etc. that could get into the propeller arc, especially when
flying solo in a 2-seater.
- If the runway surface is loose (e.g. gravel)
do not apply full power until you reach about 10mph.
- Inspect your propeller carefully for cracks
or damage before every flight. Check your prop bolts for shearing,
improper torque, or looseness. ESPECIALLY if your prop has a wooden
hub. A wooden hub, or prop tends to expand and contract with
moisture, heat, and cold, which of course effects the torque on your
- In winter NEVER start your engine until all
of the snow and ice is cleared from the wings, fuselage, and area
AROUND the craft.
- When the runway is wet, muddy, snow covered
be careful that water, mud, doesn't enter the propeller arc.
- On floats make sure you have leading edge
protection on the your prop, a prop hitting water is just like
throwing stones through it.
- Be prepared to switch the engine off quickly
if severe vibration occurs after a prop strike.
- Repairing a prop is something you should do
ONLY if your know what your doing! Any repair or modification can
effect the strength, durability, and reliability of your propeller.
Consult the prop manufacturer whenever you need to repair a prop!